The German Grand Prix at Sachsenring saw the DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team return to their point scoring ways with Jakub Kornfeil securing 14th place. Zulfahmi Khairuddin narrowly missed out on adding to his Championship position but continuing his progress throughout the weekend, he achieved his second best result of the year in 19th.
Due to a grid penalty of three places imposed on Jakub Kornfeil in qualifying, Kornfeil was relegated to 21st position for the race, whilst teammate Zulfahmi Khairuddin was promoted to 16th.
It was a tough start to the day for the Czech rider who also incurred a suspension from the first ten minutes of Moto3 Warm Up as part of the penalty issued by Race Direction. Making up for his lack of time on track, Kornfeil worked hard to get up to speed, concluding the morning session in 14th place.
After a difficult start to the 27 lap race Kornfeil was locked into an eight rider battle where he relentlessly swapped places within the group. Fighting to the line the 22 year old refused to let his promise of points escape him, claiming a hard fought 14th place finish as the chequered flag came out.
As the lights went out Zulfahmi Khairuddin launched off the line to provisionally hold an impressive ninth place into turn one. As the battles intensified, the Malaysian rider struggled to maintain his rhythm losing positions and time. Determined to regain his pace, Khairuddin battled his way back into the fight for the points, before crossing the line in 19th place.
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“It was a bit of a nerve racking race today. Fahmi made a great start and he was up in the top ten going into the first corner before finishing the first lap in thirteenth. That was the perfect position for him to be able to go within that group, but unfortunately he said in turn twelve on the second lap, he got pushed off a little and three riders passed him; this knocked him out of his rhythm. He came back but unfortunately he was too far off. He was fighting for the points in the third group together with Jakub. We had hoped for points with him today because he started in sixteenth, so we should have ended up around that position to be honest. Nevertheless he did some good lap times and overall we have seen good progress with him this weekend.
For Jakub it was a difficult start for him from twenty-first on the grid and he wasn’t able to gain any positions on the first lap. The second and third lap he was able to build his rhythm and did quite good lap times, but then the second group were already pulling away, so it was impossible to catch them. Jakub was always battling at the front of his group and it was good that he won the fight for fourteenth, so I’m happy for him for this and I’m pleased that we take two points. Now we need a little bit of a break, then we must regroup and get back to where we should be in Indy. I’m quite positive after this weekend because we have been making some good progress, with Fahmi especially, which is great for him and his confidence. For the second half of the season we must continue to build on this and keep going forward.”
#63 Zulfahmi Khairuddin – P19
“To be honest I am quite disappointed with myself because I know I could have done much better. The bike was perfect today; we worked really hard to find the best set-up this weekend and in the end we found it. In the race I had a good start but in the first three laps I didn’t have the pace to stay with the front guys. As the race went on I was able to get back into a rhythm and build my pace again to challenge for a top twenty result. I think now the most important thing for me is to fight more in the race. This is my weakest point and especially in the braking where I should pass people, but I don’t. I think in Indianapolis we will start with a different strategy for practice and I have to be more aggressive from the beginning. Although I am not happy with my result today we have made some good progress here and I believe we are getting closer and closer to the points.”
#84 Jakub Kornfeil – P14
“For me this race was one of the most difficult of the year but I’m pleased that I finished in a better position this time. In Assen I made two wrong laps and in Barcelona I only made one corner, so finally I have scored some points again. Of course I am happy for this but it has been a tough weekend and not everything has gone to plan. We didn’t find the perfect bike but I have to say in the race it was working well and I think maybe our setting was a little bit better than some of the other guys because I saw how much they were sliding when they opened the gas. My tyres were going down after the first half of the race so this made it harder to be at the front of the group I was in but I continued to push every lap. Then on one lap I made a mistake and four riders passed me. I had to build my race again from there, fighting a lot. In the last five laps I said now I have to really push and I passed everybody in the group to go behind Loi. It was difficult to fight with him because his bike on the straight was very fast so I had to beat him on the brakes and into the corners. I did this and on the last two laps I was the leader, so I just tried to close the door and hold my position. We wanted to be in the second or first group but my start was not good so this is all I could do today. I’m happy that I won the battle I was in and we leave here with some points.”